2013 New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography

Here be dragons: photographer racks up awards for shots of sea life.

Fatherhood (Eureka Prizes)

Fatherhood (Eureka Prizes)
Photographer: Richard Wylie © Richard Wylie

For his stunning shot of a male Weedy Sea Dragon incubating eggs, amateur photographer Richard Wylie, from Safety Beach in Victoria, has won the 2013 Australian Museum New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography.

The Eureka Prize is Mr Wylie’s second major award for his photographs of the intriguing sea creatures, which live in Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay.

For Mr Wylie, the opportunity to take pictures of the sea dragons (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) represents a happy collision of hobby, work and study. He is the director of the Euakafa Island Research Centre, a marine science study centre in Tonga, and also a marine biologist.

He has been a keen diver for 22 years, but only recently decided to take up serious photography. It turned out to be fortuitous choice.

The Director of the Australian Museum, Frank Howarth said Mr Wylie’s winning entry was very topical.

“Fathers’ Day falls at the start of September and this wonderful photograph of a male weedy sea dragon incubating eggs serves to remind us of the many forms that fatherhood in nature can take,” he said. “It also helps people appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of a species that’s listed as near threatened.”

Second prize in the tightly contested category went to NSW photographer Elma Kearney for her photograph of a fungus that parasitises cicada nymphs.

Third prize was awarded to Queensland photographer Dr Louisa Windus for her image of prostate cancer cells.
Seven entries were highly commended.

All top ten images are online at http://australianmuseum.net.au/2013-Eureka-Prize-for-Science-Photography. They are a stunning display of shape and colour representing the best in science photography this year.

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of research and innovation, leadership and commercialisation, science journalism and communication, and school science. This year the 17 sponsored prizes include awards for agriculture, defence, infectious diseases and innovative use of technology.

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Kea Lambert , Project Officer, Eureka Prizes
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